Oops!! Family-friendly fabric for real life

Oops!! Family-friendly fabric for real life

Drips. Drops. Splatters. Spills. This is what you don’t see in the lovely model-home styled photos in design magazines. 

That beautiful white sofa that you hesitated to purchase, is going to catch a wine spill or muddy paw prints. Or chocolate ice cream. Or a grape popsicle. You are careful and think it will never happen. But eventually it will. Because we “live” in our homes and we want pretty things.

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Home Inspirations: Fashion meets interior design with simplicity and sexiness

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• June 7, 2014

"Simplicity and sexiness. That's what people want at a price that's not outrageous." Diane von Furstenberg in 1976 when she was on the cover of Newsweek.

Photo: Kravet.

Photo: Kravet.

She married a prince in 1969.

She became a fashion diva with her slinky, print, wrap dress in 1974. By 1976, she had sold more than one million of the dresses hat looked good on everyone.

She was painted by Warhol in the 70's and 80's.

She was exotic and her life is legendary. And the legend continues as she has just teamed up with Kravet to launch a new collection of home fabrics and trimmings. The line showcases her renowned aesthetic and sense of print and color, as seen in many of her iconic patterns. Von Furstenberg effortlessly brings high fashion into the home with prints, wovens and draperies and custom trimmings designed to accent the fabrics with an exotic edge.

Photo: Kravet.

Photo: Kravet.

And like the designer, exotic is the best way to describe these classic von Furstenberg designs. That and "fearless" with a touch of " oh là là!"

The collection has a strong foundation in black and white with pops of color, and incorporates the iconic designer's signature bold animal prints, such as Spotted Cat and Funky Zebra. Geometric and abstract prints are also featured, for an eclectic blend designed to be mixed and matched. Color palettes range from berry and orange jewel tones inspired by the sunsets in Rajasthan, to azure blues that recall the Caribbean Sea, and desert-inspired neutrals in sand and stone.

As a Fort Myers interior decorator and a huge fan of all things von Furstenberg, I could not wait for the Kravet showroom at Miromar Design Center in Estero to unveil this collection. And I wasn't disappointed.  But these designs are not for the fearful when it comes to incorporating into a home's decor.

Photo: Kravet

Photo: Kravet

Amy Jimenez, Kravet's Estero showroom manager suggests that the bright color palate as well as the more subtle tones are perfect for someone with a more modern aesthetic.

"Feeling daring? Imagine using a pattern like Cumulus, Iznikoasis or China Vine for drapery panels, bedding or on a large piece of furniture. Feeling more“faint of heart”? Try using them on accent pieces such as pillows, chairs or ottomans for a great pop," she says.

Photo: Kravet

Photo: Kravet

And my advice? Forget your fears and liven up your decor with these yummy colors and designs.

As Jimenez says, whateveryou choose, DVF’s collection will be sure to transform any space into something really spectacular!"

I couldn't agree more.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.  Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

Art meets design for a walk on the wild side

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• January 24, 2015

It's whimsical and exotic with a touch of eclectic.  

The collection contains vibrant and varied species of birds, butterflies, rabbits, tropical leaves and orchids all utilized in creating dynamic patterns in this art-meets-design collection.  In Lee Jofa's  first artist collaboration with Groundworks, they have introduced vibrantly colored and stunning fabrics, wallpapers, and carpets designed by Hunt Slonem, a world-renowned artist best known for his Neo-Expressionist paintings of exotic animals and tropical plant life.

And it's exciting because it puts some fun into interior design. It almost says, "yes I am gorgeous, but I don't take myself too seriously."

The result: Spectacular

Slonem's paintings are layered with thick brushstrokes of vivid color, and are often cut into in a cross-hatched pattern, adding texture to the overall surface of the painting. This technique has been replicated in the fabric collection through intricate jacquard weaving and digital printing techniques, resulting in a look that is graphically stunning.  For the Groundworks' collection, several of his most popular themes and iconic works have been translated into decor for the home.

Fritillery, the butterfly motif based upon specimens Slonem studied as a boy. Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

As a celebrated painter, sculptor and printmaker with more than 350 exhibitions at prestigious galleries and museums internationally,  Slonem has traveled all over the world but it was his childhood spent in Hawaii, and a year studying in Nicaragua, that have had the most profound impact on his life’s work. The vivid color combinations and exotic wildlife he encountered there inspire him to this day.

The motifs he explored in his early works, tropical birds, butterflies, bunnies and portraits, have been reduced to their essence and have become recurring themes in his extraordinary art. His spiritual connection to the concept of metamorphosis led him to include the butterfly as one of the recurring themes in his work.

And there are those iconic bunnies.

Fascination with the rabbit occurred when he realized was born in the year of the rabbit, according to the Chinese calendar. In his New York City studio,  the bunny wall consists of   salon-style groupings of his small bunny paintings, some hung while wet. These signature paintings are now collector's items.  And Bunny Wall is a wallpaper that mimics the effect of the framed paintings against different colored backgrounds.

Slonem's spiritual connection to his recurring themes elevates the simple paintings to something more significant. To Slonem, repetition is divinity. Just like the act of repeating a phrase creates a mantra, the object is elevated and the act of repeating these forms becomes an act of worship. The process of painting is sacred to Slonem, and as a result, his body of work represents so much more than what's painted on the canvas.

And just how do we incorporate some of this exotic whimsy into our southwest homes? My suggestions:

A seamless series of bunnies, unframed and multiplied, on solid and metallic backgrounds. The repetition represents luck, abundance and the gentle traits represented by the rabbit. Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

A seamless series of bunnies, unframed and multiplied, on solid and metallic backgrounds. The repetition represents luck, abundance and the gentle traits represented by the rabbit. Photo: Kravet/Lee Jofa.

•    The beautiful fabric is an elegant touch for upholstery and draperies.  My favorite is to take a chair or sofa piece that has become dated or an antique and reupholster  to give it a totally new look.  And the fabric makes beautiful window panels.

•    Who can resist the Bunny Wall as an accent wall covering in an office or dining room and for the entire powder room?

•    Pillows for accents add a bright, eclectic  touch to a solid color, traditional sofa.

•    The bunny wall coverings, Hutch, are available in pink or yellow and would be a great touch for a nursery.

•    Want just a touch of these fabulous creations in your home?  Stretch a piece of the fabric on canvas for a wall or frame a section of one of the wallpapers.

To see the entire collection, visit the Kravet/Lee Jofa showroom at the Miromar Design Center in Estero or visit www.leejofa.com/groundworks_wallcoverings.htm.

Hunt Slonem will sign his new book, When Art Meets Design from 4-6:30 p.m., January 26 at Harmon-Meek in Naples. Details: 239-262-2699.

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at spectacularspaces.com. Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail wrenda@spectacularspaces.com. For more decorating tips and photos, visit spectacularspaces.com/blog

Inspiration: Behind the scenes at Kravet's NYC studio

It was the best of days in New York City.

After a week of meeting top designers, home magazine editors, fellow design bloggers and touring fabulous Manhattan show homes, came the cherry on top of the sundae.

Photo of colorful Kravet fabricAs a southwest Florida interior decorator, I have long considered Kravet the Walt Disney of the fabric and home furnishing world. The level of quality and customer service results in a tremendous comfort level for designers. I often work with Amy Jimenez at the  Kravet showroom in the Miromar Design Center in Estero. Finding just the right pattern, palettes and textures for a room is the most exciting part of my job as an interior decorator. It is a good day for me when I have clients who want fabulous fabric for a new project or want to design a piece of furniture to fit their space. It is always a great collaboration between a decorator or designer and Kravet.

Currently, I am working with Kravet on a gorgeousBarbary Barry carpet collectionBarbara Barry's Indochine Collection for Kravet.  Barbara Barry Indochine rug for a vacation home for one of my Fort Myers decorating clients. Fabric for drapes, pillows and several other projects.

So, on this last day in NYC, I headed to the Flatiron district where Cary Kravet and the Kravet family opened their studio and welcomed 168 designers with open arms for breakfast and a studio tour. They made us feel like family and gave us a peek behind the scenes. Shared a few secrets that are soon to be announced, showed us the latest fabric designs, product development and merchandising for three of the industry's respected brands: Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils. In a word: Inspiring.

My heartfelt thanks to Gary, Lisa and Ellen Kravet. To Beth Greene, Ann Felstein and Jennifer Powell. You gave me my best day in NYC.


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Island hopping: Kravet's Soleil Lifestyles fabric

Photo of colorful Kravet fabricPhotos: KravetLonging to escape to a tropical paradise this spring?

One of my current, fun decorating projects is a total lanai redo for a client who wanted major pops of color on her gorgeous new furniture. So, as I began planning, I discovered Kravet Soliel Lifestyles with collections from Echo Design and Windsor Smith Outdoor.

Photo of colorful Kravet fabricWindsor Smith Home fabrics left to right: Kanekopa in Akuatic - 31725-13, Kura Kura in Orkid - Kura Kura-17, Halua in Hibiscus - 31718-317, Kura Kura in Haze - Kura Kura-6, Mandella in Orkid - Mandella-17, Halua in Parakeet - 31718-540, Kura Kura in Veridian - Kura Kura-3, Mandella in Haze - Mandella-6, Kura Kura in Akuatik - Kura Kura-13

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Spring forward with these tips to refresh your home

Spring forward with these tips to refresh your home

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• April 7, 2012

Since this is a close to spring as we get in Southwest Florida, most of us are looking for ways to give our homes a little freshening up! Some decluttering.  And maybe a couple of home projects that we have been thinking about since the holidays. Something about spring, wherever we live, always gives us a nudge to shake things up a little. And even if budgets are tight, you can still do a little decorating to make an impact.

Photo of vintage pickle jars from Pottery BarnAdd spring color with vintage glass pickling jars from Pottery Barn.10 tips for putting a little spring into your home:

• Say goodbye to clutter.  Spring is the perfect time to get rid of anything that you don’t love.  Go room by room and drawer by drawer.  Closet by closet.  I find that tackling one room at a time works best. Don’t aim for perfection.  Just try to make a dent. And don’t forget to dump all of the piles of magazines that you have not read in the past two years.  Too many collectibles?  Put some away and rotate them back in the fall.

• Don’t try to redo the entire house but pick one room and give it a makeover.  Maybe the family room or the bedroom.  Make changes that you have been thinking about.  Spend some time and plan it out like a decorator.  Find photos in magazines or on the internet.  Make a vision board.  Establish a budget.  Set some priorities.  Have fun.

• Add some color for the biggest change.  Try some pops of that Tangerine Tango that you have heard so much about.  Pantone’s Color of the Year is cheerful and bright.  Try new throw pillows, a throw, picture frames. It goes with almost anything when used as an accent and is a very happy color!

• Give the kitchen a facelift. Not a remodel but some small changes that will make you love your kitchen again. Take all appliances off the counters (you will have room in your cabinets or pantry that you have decluttered).  Okay, leave the coffee maker.  But seriously, remove everything else.  Now you have room for a vase of beautiful spring flowers.  Now…replace the drawer pulls and any other outdated hardware. Then add a fresh coat of paint.

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